Our long-term care news is continually updated from dozens of sources around our industry and the web.

CMS Releases Complete Draft Item Sets for New MDS Version

Skilled Nursing News (01/03/2023) – The march toward a new Minimum Data Set (MDS) protocol continues, with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) releasing the full complement of draft item sets.

With this release on Dec. 23, CMS made good on a previous promise to get these complete draft item sets out in 2022. The agency plans to release the final version of MDS items sets in early 2023. MDS 3.0 v1.18.11 is slated to take effect on Oct. 1, 2023. Full story »

Providers warn of broad closures, agency reliance under possible staff mandate: 2023 Outlook Survey

McKnights (01/04/2023) – Half of all nursing home providers and building leaders (49.8%) surveyed by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News said they would have to close in part or in full if federal regulators adopt a 4.1-hour nurse staffing mandate in 2023.

Among facility owners, C-suite executives and administrators, the predicted closure threat rose to 54.4%. Nearly 41% of that group also said they would have to hire more agency staff if that rigorous mandate is imposed. Full story »

SNF Workforce of the Future: Inside SNN’s Coverage of an Evolving Labor Model

Skilled Nursing News (12/21/2022) – This year, Skilled Nursing News held a magnifying glass to various roles within the nursing home as the sector continues to evolve – and receive mandated change from federal and state entities.

All the while, skilled nursing staff shortages fuel a reshaping of roles to take on more responsibilities and rely more on technology to fill the gaps.

Our stories examined positions from top executive roles to certified nursing assistants (CNAs), the backbone of the direct care workforce. Full story »

How bad are the huge pay gaps between agency and full-time staff nurses? This bad

McKnights (12/19/2022) – A state-by-state comparison of pay-rate disparities between agency nurses and their full-time counterparts is feeding the fury that disgruntled long-term care operators and other providers have felt during the pandemic.

Previously, largely anecdotal accounts of nursing agencies’ soaring pay rates and predatory recruiting tactics have fed providers’ anger. Now, they can see just how bad conditions are, and how differences exist among states. Full story »

What state has the highest-rated nursing homes? Here’s where they’re best (and worst)

USA Today (12/09/2022) – Researchers say good staffing levels and low turnover are some of the best predictors for good care at a nursing home, but the number of nurses and aides varies greatly between facilities — and between states.

President Joe Biden has called for setting nationwide minimum staffing levels, the details of which should be released this spring for public comment. Thirty-five states have already set their own rules for skilled nursing facilities, with varied results. A recent USA TODAY investigation found that inspectors rarely penalize nursing homes that fall short of staffing benchmarks. Full story »

Providers warned: Ongoing relief fund audits may bring unprecedented info demands

McKnights (11/21/2022) – Provider Relief Fund audits have started in earnest, with the threat of federal investigators demanding more and different data than most skilled nursing providers have ever been asked to account for.

Audits will run in waves over the next two years, but there are key steps providers can take to keep the reporting and auditing process less stressful, experts emphasize.

First and foremost, document everything related to COVID-19 expenses, Brian Lee, a partner in Alston & Bird’s Healthcare Group, told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. Better, tie the documentation to the guidance that existed at the time of any spending decision. He said it’s a logical connection to what you were doing and when you did it in relation to the requirements of the program. Full story »

Long-term care expert touts optimism, advice for 2023 after tough year

McKnights (11/17/2022) – Staffing, reimbursement and regulatory pressures may have given providers a black eye in 2022, but leaders well-versed in regulatory expectations will be ready to rise to new challenges in 2023.

That’s according to care expert Trish Richardson, MSN, RN, who led a webinar Wednesday on how providers can use lessons from a tough 2022 to forge a successful year ahead. Full story »

Why Nursing Home Primary Care and Risk-Based Strategies Must Go Hand in Hand

Skilled Nursing News (11/15/2022) – Leaders in the skilled nursing space have increasingly seen value in creating a primary care strategy, with some intending to become part of a risk-based model as part of that strategy — especially as acuity continues to be high among residents.

Operators looking to shift to such a strategy need a clear vision of how physicians will play a critical role in their organization, according to Stephen Taylor, principal and senior living and care segment leader at CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA). Reliable data to better understand their patient population is also a must. Full story »